How is right hemisphere communication disorder disabling? Evidence from response mobilizing actions in conversation

Aim: Assessment and intervention strategies for communication disorders caused by right hemisphere stroke are at an early stage of development. There is also little evidence on how right hemisphere communication disorder is disabling for everyday life. This study explores how a woman with conversational problems following right hemisphere stroke participated in everyday conversation with family members.

Method: One hour of triadic conversation was recorded and analyzed using the descriptive qualitative methodology of conversation analysis. It focused on attempts by the woman with right hemisphere stroke to direct conversation with “response mobilizing” communicative acts, i.e., communicative acts that set out clear expectations about who should speak, and how they should respond.

Results: Seventy-eight communicative acts produced by the woman with right hemisphere communication disorder were divided into five groupings based on how her conversation partners addressed them. Around half of her response mobilizing communicative acts received unsupportive responses from her conversation partners, including minimal acknowledgements, explicit rejections, and ignoring responses.

Conclusion: The findings of this study provide novel insight into the ways that right hemisphere communication disorder affects routine communication, and the nature of the disability it causes. This information will support the future development of evidence-based speech pathology assessment and intervention for right hemisphere stroke.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION

Right hemisphere stroke can have complex implications for communication, but little is known about how they manifest in daily life.

Familiar communication partners may deal with troublesome communicative acts in conversation by preventing them from developing, which may be useful information for speech pathology assessment.

Speech pathologists should consider sampling everyday conversation because it can provide insight into the ways that communication disorders caused by right hemisphere stroke restrict participation in daily life.

Right hemisphere stroke can have complex implications for communication, but little is known about how they manifest in daily life.

Familiar communication partners may deal with troublesome communicative acts in conversation by preventing them from developing, which may be useful information for speech pathology assessment.

Speech pathologists should consider sampling everyday conversation because it can provide insight into the ways that communication disorders caused by right hemisphere stroke restrict participation in daily life.